Minister explains why bus fares cannot remain unchanged

Well at the bottom of the first page lies a story of our dear Transport Minister saying that “Singaporeans should not politicise the issue”.

Are we politicising the issue? Not that I know of, or read of. Perhaps I haven’t seen any of those articles that politicise the issue, but the main stuff that I read of in the forums are of citizens raising their concerns, and most of them valid. I see it as feedback to the government, of which, it seems to be labeled as politicising the issue. I think that is sad.

The latest fare hike is 1 to 2 cents on October 1 2007, and a resident has suggested that the fares be reviewed once every four years before the GE. I’m not here to support or take down this suggestion. Our minister’s reply is that if it was done this way, people will ask the government to extend it again. Its true, we will always want lower bus fares wouldn’t we.

However, he quote that other countries’ have shown that when the government succumbs to this pressure, service standards will worsen.

The last fare raise is 1 to 3 cents last year. We have raised it last year and we are raising it again, however, service standards has worsen and it is not improving. Thus other countries’ experience do not necessarily apply to Singapore and should not be used. By this service standard’s argument, then are we liable to pay more each time when service standards become lousier by the minute?

It makes no sense to me.

It is typical of a monopolistic company (there is only 2 companies providing bus services and they ply on different routes) to have lousy service, since people have no choice but to take bus services since the other alternative, the car or the taxi is much too expensive. Yet we cannot allow more companies to come in to take the slice of the pie as routes will overlap and things will become inefficient.

The only form of assurance is the Public Transport Council which governs the fare increases.

Anyway, our transport system is labeled as good, of which i do not deny since we are relatively better as compared to other countries’. Yet, it is not good enough to compare to other countries, but we have to compare to ourselves. Should we allow service standards to worsen, and that if service standards are still relatively better to other places, it means that our public transport system is good? I doubt it.We should continually compare to ourselves.

If not, the top students of Singapore will always be good, as there is always someone lousier than them,but yet, they would have already dropped to a lousier standard. In education, we strive to be the best within our peers, shouldn’t be apply the same philosophy to our bus standards or any standards? After all, Changi Airport may be good as compared to the other countries, but it may not remain the best if it keeps thinking that good is enough.

11 thoughts on “Minister explains why bus fares cannot remain unchanged

  1. Seriously, it is so darn open that all these are politicise not by us but by the govt itself. Just look at election .. upgrade, no upgrade, free this, free that …

    Now now .. who is really talking about politicising? This is disgusting.

  2. what can i say?

    what i say wont have any (maybe at best, little) influence… lol… can’t be bothered. llst lor. sianz. bus concession ftw.

  3. they say the reason why they raise the bus fare is due to poor earnings, I mean thats like… such a nice excuse da.

    I donnoe about others, but for me i prefer to take MRT simply because the quality, service and everything else(of the bus) just puts me off.

    I seriously see no effort in them trying to ‘upgrade’ their bus services, maybe thats because like what you said: they just don’t think they need to improve simply because there is no true competition in the first place.

    the future looks bleak for full-time bus users. *sigh

  4. Raymond Lim is full of rubbish. Politics exists when people come together for an agenda, or for their common self-interest. In other words, politics is in everything including the matter of bus service – and in extension the transport and traffic system – because it concerns every Singaporeans’ self-interest. Perhaps only people like Raymond Lim, and the high ranking goons in the LTA and PTC who don’t regularly – or possibly NEVER – take public transports, would ask not to politicise it because well, how does that concern their self interest when they hardly or never use it? lol

    Anyway, the bus service in Singapore is a zonal duo-poly – i.e. 2 companies [Delgro & SMRT] enjoying monopoly status at their respective zones. Don’t believe? Go to Yishun and CCK Interchange, then to Boon Lay, Toa Payoh, and Clementi and AMK and see who runs most buses off those hubs. When you have virtual monopoly off specific regions and commuters have almost no choice, what service is there to talk about?

    In fact, what service improvements has there been on the buses since air-conditioning, double deckers and Bendy buses? The bunching remains and the long wait remains.

    Raymond Lim and his goons should just shut their bloody gap and take the public transports 2 times every working day for a year. Then come back and wonder why the people are ‘politicising’ the issue.

  5. I do feel that Tv mobile is quite lame in some instances, especially on bus 96 because the reception is so lousy that the image is a still image for the entire journey and that there is no sound.

    The music bus is a waste of space. Its just advertising for them I think, but its really a stupid thing. Can’t maximise space, means can’t maximise revenue.

    There has been a spate of bad news with regards to the bus standards, yet no one seem to be doing anything to regulate the industry.

    I do also agree that the IRIS thing is plain stupid and is a waste of technology. Unless we progress to a point where we are totally wired everywhere we go, most of us will not use IRIS on our phones. It is quite lame to use IRIS in our home computer because by the time we find out which buses are coming, the bus would have left already.

  6. Whatever the bus companies are doing, they should get back to the basics. i.e. have the bus come regularly within an acceptable waiting time, get us to point A and point B safely. The rest are just a plus which we can do without.

  7. IRIS thing also can for your handphone marh. but need to pay, and limited to singtel users i think… but yah lah, not useful… so what if you know bus X takes Y minutes to come? still have to wait there what. no choicez.

    perhaps they should ‘analyse’ the bus situation at popular spots… sometimes really lack of buses as compared to the passenger volume…. i’m sure some of you will agree.

  8. yep yep agree with jh on the last point. another issue i have close at heart is the airconditioning….they certainly could do with much less aircon during cooler times like early morning or at night, especially during rains. whereas during the hot afternoons, it’s extremely stuffy in those ‘aircon’ buses, worse when students sweaty from their CCAs board them… and the recent bus designs still leave much to be desired… ideally the bus shld be made slightly more wide….too narrow especially during peak periods…

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